16Alpha-hydroxydehydroepiandrosterone a potential marker for what?

R Hampl, Assoc. Prof., DSc.

Instutute of Endocrinology, Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic

Aim: Increased levels of 16alpha-hydroxylated estrogens have been suggested markers for breast and endometrial cancer. Significantly increased 16alpha-hydroxylated estrogens have been also found in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its precursors are the first targets for 16alpha-hydroxylation. Their physiological levels have not yet been studied systematically. We address the question whether 16alpha-OH-DHEA could serve as a marker for these diseases. Physiological levels of this steroid should have been established at first and then compared with those of patients with autoimmune thyreopathies and thyroid cancer. Methods: 16alpha-hydroxy-dehydroepaandrosterone levels were determined in diethyl ether extracts from sera of healthy subjects and from the above mentioned patients using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results: So far physiological levels of 16alpha-hydroxy-dehydroepiandrosterone in 28 healthy adult subjects (18 females and 10 men) were determined as follows: Mean ± SD 55.0 ± 44.3, median 35.3, quartiles 22.4 and 62.5 nmol, respectively. No sex differences were observed. Determination of 16-OH-DHEA in patients is in progress and the data will be presented at the Symposium. Conclusion: No conclusion can be made at the moment.

KEY WORDS: steroid, autoimmunity, marker.

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Paper presented at the International Symposium on Predictive Oncology and Intervention Strategies; Paris, France; February 9 - 12, 2002; in the section on Autoimmunity.